In academic descriptions of cosmopolitanism, one particularly important distinction often recurs. Specifically, scholars have been concerned to distinguish between cosmopolitanism as a set of mundane practices and/or competences on the one hand and cosmopolitanism as a cultivated form of consciousness or moral aspiration on the other. For anthropologists whose ethnographic studies reveal many different expressions of cosmopolitanism, this distinction between aspiration and practice can often be quite ambiguous. Thisbook therefore brings together five contributions from anthropologists who are reporting on encounters and aspirations that reveal different forms of spatial mobility, scales of commitment or risk, and are often transient, ambivalent and precarious. These are circumstances in which cosmopolitanism emerges as uneven and partial rather than as a comprehensive or unequivocal transformation of practice and outlook.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power.
1. Mobility and cosmopolitanism: complicating the interaction between aspiration and practice 2. Circumscribed cosmopolitanism: travel aspirations and experiences 3.The dialectics of urban cosmopolitanism: between tolerance and intolerance in cities of strangers 4. Micro-cosmopolitanisms at the urban scale 5. ‘Like a foreigner in my own homeland’: writing the dilemmas of return in theVietnamese American diaspora 6. Cultivating the cosmopolitan child in Silicon Valley